All pix: Danny Lahart
After taking a year off due to the Pandemic, 2021 saw the third annual Marble City Mile with entries in from nationwide and the day was marked by glorious sunshine to welcome the event back to its home in the Nore under Kilkenny Castle.
Kilkenny has a long and proud tradition of open water swimming with the stunning views of the river under the castle as seen from under John’s Bridge being a sight that is difficult to beat in Ireland. 2020 and 2021 has seen an explosive growth in interest in open water swimming and this year over 75 swimmers of all ages and swimming traditions who braved the Nore to compete in an 800M, 1600M (and for the very hardy both swims), as well as a team relay under the sight of the castle.
Local swimmers competed strongly with wins in their categories for Niamh Richardson, Colin Feely, Stephen Dermody and the relay team of Niamh Richardson, Mary Liz Lenihan, Helen Bacon and Nikki Reid rounded out some of the local wins. They were further joined by the current National Masters 5K champion Boyd Freeman, first home in the 1600M, and Channel swimmer Adrian Healy first in the 800M amongst many other strong swimmers.
The event is run by the Kilkenny Masters Swimming Team with strong support from all of the active swimming community in Kilkenny. Water safety was provided by Kilkenny Water Safety & the Kilkenny Sub Aqua providing further support should any swimmer require it. Team Chairperson Aaron Keogh thanked all of the swimming community and volunteers who help run the event safely, particularly with the additional Covid precautions this year. “The team are grateful to all volunteers and participants who combined to make it such a special event and one that showcases Kilkenny in the light it should be seen in”.